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Taylor Swift & Pride Anthems

Until recently, Swift’s decision not to make political statements and attempts to appear politically neutral have caused some controversy among her fans in an increasingly politically divided America. In the past year, however, Swift has started to make moves towards revealing her own political views, supporting her local Democratic Senate candidate Phil Bredesen in the 2018 elections, and releasing her change.org petition in June 2019 to campaign for the US Senate to pass the Equality Act, a bill aiming to protect LGBTQ+ people from discrimination. Continue reading Taylor Swift & Pride Anthems

The Relevance of Religious Art Today

“Why should the devil have all the best tunes?” asked Methodist preacher George Whitefield in 1774. But did the devil ever? And does he still? As conservative and dated as ‘religious art’ might seem in the West (where religious practices have been somewhat marred by schisms, crusades, inquisitions, Nietzsche, existentialism, and that ever-pesky science), I think the paganity to which Whitefield referred has less of a cloven-hoofed power-stance over the arts than the reality of the situation might suggest. Not only were many of the modern antecedents and influences of contemporary Western artists religious, but a great number of today’s practitioners remain resolutely Christian in their outlook.

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Review: Maverick Sabre @ Exeter Phoenix

Maverick Sabre played to a nearly sold out crowd at the Exeter Phoenix on Friday night and delighted his large, passionate fan-base with a mix of brand new spring releases and older hits.

OLIVIA, a London-based, up-and-coming, indie singer-songwriter, played a half-hour set to open the evening. Her pop-come-R&B sound and youthful, honest lyrics garnered the full attention and engagement of the growing audience throughout her set. Her recent single ‘Reason to Stay’ can be found on Spotify and has enjoyed significant success in the independent music scene. But it sounds even better live, its lighthearted lyrics and playful rhythms creating an intimate, relaxed atmosphere and winning over Exeter’s crowd, just as it has won the singer an online following. Continue reading Review: Maverick Sabre @ Exeter Phoenix

Review: BSO’s Echoes of Home

Exeter University’s campus was buzzing with life on Thursday evening, as fans of classical music descended on the Great Hall for another night of entertainment provided by the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. For the final instalment of their 2018/19 concert season, an iconic programme of music by Smetana, Tchaikovsky and Sibelius was on the cards and the BSO did not disappoint, performing with unwavering precision and charisma. Continue reading Review: BSO’s Echoes of Home

Review: Benjamin Francis Leftwich @ Exeter Cavern

Benjamin Francis Leftwich, acoustic folk singer songwriter, performed at Exeter Cavern last Saturday, an artist who conjures a distinct sound in others’ heads: fingerpicked guitar, hushed-almost-wispy vocals, and melancholy lyrics. Despite the wispiness of his vocals, they were enough to consume the underground of Exeter Cavern; enough so for Leftwich to even step away from the microphone at times. Continue reading Review: Benjamin Francis Leftwich @ Exeter Cavern

Preview: BSO’s Echoes of Home

The Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra returns to Exeter’s Great Hall on Thursday evening for the final instalment of their 18/19 concert season. This time performing ‘Echoes of Home’, the works of Smetana, Tchaikovsky and Sibelius will be brought to life by this world-class orchestra, under the direction of guest-conductor Jamie Phillips. Continue reading Preview: BSO’s Echoes of Home

Review: Opera Society’s The Marriage of Figaro

 The Marriage of Figaro by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and translated by Edward J. Dent is the first production by the Exeter Opera Society, bringing a multi-layered tale of love, jealousy and confusion to 1920s England, performed in St David’s Church. In just a month and a half, and with the majority of performers never having seen, let alone taken part in an opera, the society successfully brought a unique cultural event to students and families alike. Continue reading Review: Opera Society’s The Marriage of Figaro